Monthly Archives: April 2010

Pine Nut Pizza

Pine nuts are something I always try to have in the house. Why? I love them and they add so much to a dish. Add it to a pasta dish for a wonderful flavor change. I also add it to pizza and veggies. Roast them a little in a pan before sprinkling on top of most dishes and it looks and tastes so much better.

Just the other day, Daughter and I split a gluten-free pizza crust from Gluten Free Creations. What to put on mine? Aha, just a little parmesan, fresh parsley, sprinkle of mozzarella and a few pine nuts. Okay, a lot of pine nuts, I do love them so. You could probably use half as much and be happy with that.

I pre-bake GF Creations pizza crusts for about 10 minutes so that the baking time is cut in half. After cheese and toppings are added, it only needs another 10-15 minutes for a crispy, yummy pizza.

It’s a quick and yummy snack, and with the addition of the pine nuts, I feel as if I’ve made something gourmet and special. And hey, I deserve that and so do you, dear chef.



Filed under gluten free, pine nuts, pizza, vegetarian

Stuffed Zucchini

While watching the Food Network Channel and wondering what to eat, I saw Rachel Ray making stuffed zucchini. I realized I had two zucchini in the fridge, along with some veggies. Of course, I had to tweak her recipe just a bit, but these turned out amazing. Daughter ate an entire zucchini with filling and wanted more. Too bad I only had two zucchini in the fridge. Good reason to visit the farmers market tomorrow morning. I love the tanginess of the Parmesan with the mushrooms and zucchini. These were good as a dinner, but would make a wonderful side dish to a meal. I’m thinking about adding this mixture to a Portabello mushroom next time.

Give these a shot and switch up the veggies if you dare. I wish I had a red pepper in the fridge, I would have added that too. This is the amount I used for two zucchini, but double it if there are more than two people eating.

Stuffed Zucchini
2 zucchini
1 small onion, diced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 clove garlic, chopped

2 slices GF bread (I used Udi’s)
butter for bread
1/4 cup fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Slice zucchini in half longways and scoop out flesh (save for later). Place in a greased cooking dish.
3. Toast bread, butter while warm. Break it up and add parsley, then pulse in a processor till it looks like bread crumbs. Set aside.
4. Saute onions, mushrooms, spinach, garlic in a saute pan until mushrooms and onions start to brown and crisp up. Add the chopped insides of the zucchini and cook a few more minutes. Add salt/pepper to taste.
5. Add veggies to breadcrumbs, add Parmesan and mix well.
6. Scoop mixture into zucchini boats and spread out evenly.
7. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes, until zucchini is soft.
8. Let them sit for about 5-10 minutes then serve.

Rachel’s recipe called for an egg to be added to the mixture, but I omitted the egg and it was wonderful. I may try the egg for protein next time, but it’s good without also. Try it and let me know what you think.


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Easter Brunch with Family and Friends

Easter Pasta Frittata

I love holidays where everyone comes together in one place. It’s lovely to have friends and family here, in my home, having fun and sharing a meal. It’s important to me that my home is a place of comfort and peace to people who visit, and I try hard to make it so. I also want the food to be great too, and since I cook gluten free and vegetarian, I feel as if I have to work even harder so people don’t notice what they are missing. So far, so good.

Beautiful gluten-free dessert table. GF carrot cake, fresh fruit, chocolate dipped macaroons and more. Yum!

Today was no exception. Easter is always a great day for brunch and since my sister was here visiting from New Orleans, along with the rest of the family living here and my best friend and her family, we had a house full of joy and happiness. I couldn’t decide what to cook until my sister requested the frittata I had made while visiting her last year. No problem. I switched it up a bit by roasting some great veggies the night before, making preparation much easier this morning. Make this when you’ve got company coming and you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen. Along with a salad, crackers and a casserole my sister made, we were all very well fed.

Easter Frittata
1 butternut squash, cut into chunks
1 leeks, chopped
2 carrots sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 large red pepper, cut into chunks
Olive oil
3 cups fresh spinach
1/2 package Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta (or any kind you choose)
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded cheese (leave out if going nondairy)
6 egg whites
4 eggs
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1. Set oven to 375 degrees
2. Roast veggies in a shallow pan with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste for about 45 minutes. Take it out and stir 2-3 times while cooking. If doing this the night before, just refrigerate overnight.
3. Cook pasta according to directions, leaving it a little al dente since it will be cooking in the frittata also.
4. Add 1/2 cup marinara sauce to pasta and stir.
5. In a large skillet with metal handle, heat veggies and spinach until warm and wilted.
6. Add pasta to skillet and mix.
7. Beat eggs and egg whites with nutmeg, garlic and parsley.
8. Add egg mixture to pan, pouring over veggies and pasta.
9. Cook frittata over low heat until just about set (jiggle the pan to see if the eggs are set in the middle.)
10. Sprinkle cheese over top of frittata and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully.
11. Be sure to let this sit for about 5-10 minutes for it to set up.
12. Slide onto a large serving plate and serve with marinara sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

This went over very big today and I heard a few times how pasta and eggs shouldn’t go together. But everyone kept going back until the plate was clean, so I guess they do go together after all. This is a great dish to make in a small amount with leftover pasta, eggs and some spinach. Make it easy and quick, and healthy!


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